Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons Grants Approval to Houston VA Cancer Program

December 11, 2003

Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons Grants Approval to Houston VA Cancer Program

Released: 2003/12/11

HOUSTON, TX - On December 8, 2003, the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons granted a three-year approval to the cancer program at the Houston VA Medical Center.

Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1932, the Approvals Program sets standards for cancer programs and reviews the programs to make sure they conform to those standards. Recognizing that cancer is a complex group of diseases, the program promotes consultation among surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, and other cancer specialists. This multidisciplinary cooperation results in improved patient care.

Receiving care at a Commission on Cancer approved cancer program ensures that a patient will have access to quality care close to home; comprehensive care offering a range of state-of-the art services and equipment; a multispecialty, team approach to coordinate the best treatment options available to cancer patients, information about cancer clinical trials, education, and support; lifelong patient follow-up through a cancer registry that collects data on type and stage of cancers and treatment results; and ongoing monitoring and improvement of care.

Approval by the Commission on Cancer is given only to those facilities that have voluntarily committed to provide the best in diagnosis and treatment of cancer and to undergo a rigorous evaluation process and a review of its performance. In order to maintain approval, facilities with approved cancer programs must undergo an on-site review every three years.

The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 1,334,100 cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2003. Slightly more than one-fifth of the country's hospitals have approved cancer programs, and more than 80 percent of patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer are treated in these facilities.

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Point of Contact: VHAHOU Public Affairs

04/21/04 08:25